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Cape Town -
Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli operated without security clearance for more than a year, according to a parliamentary reply released on Friday.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Mdluli's clearance expired on February 12 last year, two days before that of major-general Solly Lazarus, crime intelligence's former finance chief. Both men were suspended from their posts in May.
Mthethwa said Lazarus never fully completed his application for clearance after it was sent back to him for corrections.
In Mdluli's case, however, the application was held back pending the outcome of an earlier suspension in April 2011, and the possibility of criminal charges “and/or departmental proceedings”. He had re-applied for clearance in March last year.
Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard, who posed the question, said the reply beggered President Jacob Zuma's assurance earlier this year that there was no cause for alarm about the state of the police's crime intelligence unit.
“The DA would say that there is a great need for alarm when two of its highest ranking officials had been operating without security clearance for years,” she said.
“I will today be writing to the inspector general of intelligence to ask that the investigation into Mdluli and Lazarus be extended to include how it was that they were allowed to operate as heads of the crime intelligence unit without the necessary security clearance,” she said.
The inspector general is investigating allegations that Mdluli plundered crime intelligence's slush fund and appointed family members as covert agents. - Sapa